NuraTrue


NuraTrue wireless earbuds

The NuraTrue fit Nura’s custom sound-tuning tech into a desirable true wireless form, with great results. Battery life is solid, sound customisation is as refined as seen in the original Nuraphones, and active noise cancellation is well implemented, if not quite as effective as the best. These earphones don’t just rely on “high concept” audio tuning, although it’s a shame the bass-boosting feature isn’t as sophisticated as the core bespoke EQ.

Pros

  • Detailed upper-mids
  • Fun sound-tuning process
  • Comprehensive customisation via the phone app
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • Bass-boosting Immersion mode lacks finesse
  • Sound-tuning thins out the mids a little too much

Availability

  • UKRRP: £199
  • USARRP: $199
  • EuropeRRP: €229
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$299

Key Features


  • Active noise cancellationThe NuraTrue monitor ambient noise and cancel it out using inverse waves of that sound

  • Up to 6 hours’ battery lifeNura rates the NuraTrue battery life at up to six hours per charge, or 24 hours total with the carry case

  • Sound tuningThe NuraTrue use an ultra-sensitive microphone to automatically generate an EQ profile based on your own hearing

Introduction

The NuraTrue are some of the most interesting true wireless earphones in the world right now. And perhaps the most accessible of all of Nura’s pairs to date.

Nura earphones use a proprietary technique that tests your hearing by “listening” to how your ears respond to sound. They analyse how you hear music, without relying on you tapping a button to see when a high-frequency tone skips out of your range of hearing.

The NuraTrue come with active noise cancellation, too – and while it isn’t as effective as the Sony WF-1000XM4’s, it performs the important job of making public transport and traffic noise less of a problem.

These earphones’ sound is vital and engaging, although if you like a bassier sound then Nura’s low-end controls made the NuraTrue sound more confused, not just more powerful.

Customisation

  • Personalises the sound based on your ears
  • Intuitive app

NuraTrue earbuds on orange background

The NuraTrue approach may initially sound like a gimmick, but it’s a recognised technique based on “Otoacoustic Emission”.

When you hear a sound, hair cells in your inner ear vibrate. This in turn creates its own very quiet noise, which travels to the middle ear, where a highly sensitive microphone can pick it up.

Nura says this sound is “10,000 times” quieter than the input sound. So, yes, the microphone inside the NuraTrue must be pretty sensitive.

The test takes just a couple of minutes to perform. First, the NuraTrue app runs through a frequency sweep, presumably to see the tone at which your ‘hearing hairs’ stop reacting. And then it plays a series of bleep-bloop ’70s sci-fi tones to pick up its results.

It’s quick, and requires no input from you – other than to keep quiet and still to minimise colourisation of the result.

Nura has come up with a neat way to show off these results, too. The app spits out a deformed circle. Blue areas that go beyond the circle’s outline suggest high sensitivity; reddish gradations that dig into the circle suggest lower sensitivity. As you work around the circumference of the circle from the “12 o’ clock” position, the frequency denoted increases.

NuraTrue app process

What you see here isn’t a classic hearing test as such, but a sort of tonal map of the character of your hearing. I’ve run the test a bunch of times, and while there’s a noticeable change to the EQ in each, the map graphics look similar.

It suggests I have relatively high sensitivity in the lowest and highest frequencies, and significantly reduced sensitivity in-between. Of course, the NuraTrue circle graphic is simplified, especially since there will be differences between your hearing in both the left and right ears.

The software is a real highlight of the NureTrue experience. Its app presents all of this data brilliantly; it isn’t just about dressing up a custom EQ profile.

For example, when I take the NuraTrue out of the case and pop them into my ears, they say “welcome back Andrew 2” – the same of the profile currently active. That they store a little digital audio file with a Siri-a-like voice prompt is a nice touch. I’m not sure many people will, or should, share these earphones with friends and family members. But you might want to use multiple profiles for, say, home listening and for use while running.

screenshots of NuraTrue app

These profiles don’t just store your hearing data, but also whether you have noise cancellation switched on and the level at which the Immersion mode is set.

Nura says this Immersion slider is designed to emulate the experience of live music, but it sounds like a relatively simple bass booster. I don’t recommend setting this beyond 20% if you’re listening in a quiet environment, since it tends to clog up the sound imaging a bit. The full-size Nuraphones seemed better equipped for this Immersion mode, as they have dual drivers per cup: a 15mm unit in the earpieces that sit in the cups, and 40mm units in the cup enclosure.

Design

  • IPX4 water-resistance
  • Good, stable fit

In terms of fit, the NuraTrue are much like any other pair of true wireless earphones to wear. I’ve used them for a bunch of runs at this point, and they’ve remained perfectly still in my ears throughout fast motion. They have a little rubber insert that anchors them into your ear cartilage. You can take these off if you like, but I’ve found them useful for keeping the earphones in place.

close up of NuraTrue ear-tips

The construction is all-plastic, but this keeps their weight low. And the disc-shaped outer makes them easy to put in your ears and remove, and to adjust in your ears. The NuraTrue are rated for IPx4 water-resistance, which is good enough for runners and gym fans. Just don’t rinse them under a tap after a workout.

Features

  • Noise cancellation support
  • Solid battery life

The NuraTrue also offer excellent control customisation. Each earpiece has a touch-sensitive surface, and you have free rein to set single- or double-taps for any of the following commands (taken direct from the app):

  • Play/pause music & answer/hang up calls
  • Play/pause music & answer calls
  • Reject call
  • Play/pause music
  • Enable/disable Immersion
  • Enable/disable social mode
  • Previous track
  • Next track
  • Volume up
  • Volume down
  • Voice assistant

You can set any or all of these single/dual-tap gestures. The “auto-pause” mode is highly customisable as well. Set your music to stop when you remove one earbud, only when both are removed, or you can turn this feature off.

I’d usually say these tweaks are unlikely to be used, or even noticed by most buyers. But the NuraTrue app has to be downloaded and run to even make the earphones play music. You won’t hear anything until you perform at least one hearing test, making you engage with the software. Thankfully, you don’t have to do anything more once you’ve setup a profile. Even if you switch phones, the earphones store the current profile internally – although to flick between them, you need to use the app.

Accessories for NuraTrue earbud

Nura describes the NuraTrue’s active noise cancellation as “Hybrid ANC”, suggesting the actual active part is only meant to get rid of the lowest frequencies, relying on the physical ear-blocking of the tips for the rest. And that’s more-or-less what you get.

The NuraTrue’s ANC isn’t as effective as that of the Bose QuietComfort buds. They don’t transport you to a noiseless world, then, but they do remove enough outside bass noise to stop it from being a major distraction.

During testing, my downstairs neighbours had workmen drilling through the walls a

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